Okay, so Channing Daughters is not actually a North Fork winery, though they do get some of their grapes from fields on the North Fork, but it is our favorite winery. In fact, their Scuttlehole Chardonnay is more or less our house white, and is what we served at our daughter’s wedding. We are here today (after two ferries and a pleasant drive across Shelter Island) because a relative with a house in East Hampton has invited us for a visit, so we intend to get a bottle of wine to bring and to buy a case of Scuttlehole Chard for ourselves. The tasting room is small but pleasant, and the staff is always very knowledgeable. You can also check out the interesting sculptures, often made from tree roots, by the owner. We decide to try their four rosatos (roses), which all cost $20 per bottle.
1) 2011 Rosato di Cabernet Sauvignon
According to our server, all the rosatos spend about 15 minutes on the skins, and then are steel fermented. They all are drink-now wines, not keepers! This one is good, with a pleasant cherry/strawberry taste and some nice spiciness to it.
2) Franconia 2011
This one uses blaufrankish grapes, and would make a nice aperitif wine, with again some cherry flavor and a tart, lemony finish.
3) Petit Verdot 2011
The aroma reminds us of unripe cantelope, with a flavor reminiscent of pink lemonade–but without much sugar. There is some complexity.
4) Lagrein 2011
This is the best of the four, with sweeter notes at the end and a strawberry aroma and flavor. We buy this one to bring to the party!
Reasons to visit: you’re on the South Fork but you want to visit a winery; great wines, including our favorite Long Island chardonnay, their Scuttlehole chardonnay; they experiment all the time with new wines and new methods, so it’s fun to explore.
Addendum: On a recent visit, all the roses bore “sold out” signs, so if you’re interested in buying them I suggest you get there early next year!